Children's books share refugees' experiences and offer hope for the future

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Children’s summer reading may take on new meaning for parents this year. In the spring, after coronavirus school closures, some libraries reported an increase in the virtual borrowing of children’s materials and demands for library cards to serve children.

UNICEF reports that there are nearly 50 million displaced or forcibly moved children in the world. Their dire and precarious circumstances are exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19. In 2019, Canada welcomed 28,000 displaced people. In 2012, more than 6,000 refugees who were permanent residents in Canada were under the age of 15. Some children seeking asylum in Canada arrive unaccompanied by adults.

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A Palestinian boy sits between boxes of new books inside his classroom during the first day of a new school year, at one of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency schools serving refugee students, in Beirut, Lebanon, in September 2018. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

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Children’s literature can speak to children’s inner feelings, dreams and ideas. Books can respond to their questions about the world and renews a sense of purpose and meaning.

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